Grimes has faith in Potter's plans

3rd April 2019
First team

Matt Grimes is happy to play wherever Graham Potter wants him to, because he has complete faith in the Swansea City manager's methods.

Grimes, who has had spells on loan at Blackburn, Leeds and Northampton since joining the Swans in 2015, has had an outstanding campaign back in SA1.

He has mainly featured in the centre of midfield, but has also had stints at left-back and - most recently - at centre-half.

While more diminutive than the stereotypical central defender, Grimes has been asked to play there for his ability to dictate play and help Swansea build their play from the back.

He proved wonderfully effective there in the games against Manchester City and Brentford, with Pep Guardiola pointedly mentioning how impressed he was with how Swansea utilised Grimes against the Premier League champions.

“Before the Manchester City game, the gaffer pulled me into his office and talked me through how we were going to press them and do what we want to do defensively," said Grimes. 

"He told me he thought I needed to play in the left centre-half position. I believe in his tactical ideas and the players buy into it as well, which is important. It worked against City and he asked me to do the same again Brentford.

"I’m confident of stepping into any position he wants me to play in. Whatever position he puts me in, I know there’s a reason for it.

"I trust in him and I’ll give it my best. I tried to remember how I played against City because, if I’m comfortable doing it against them, I’m comfortable doing it against anyone."

Across those two games Grimes completed 109 of 122 passes, also winning nine tackles.

And while Potter has suggested it is a ploy he will not use all the time, Grimes has enjoyed the change, and revealed that playing at centre-back even runs in the family.

His 21-year-old brother Nick plays in defence for National League South outfit Truro City, having once been on the books at Exeter City alongside Matt.

“I enjoyed playing in the centre-back role. Similar to the game against Manchester City, the gaffer wanted me stepping in to pick up their pocket players because they’re a decent footballing side," added Grimes. 

"I played in a 3-0 win and also got a clean sheet, so I couldn’t be happier.

“My brother plays as a centre-half, but I never saw myself as one!

“Obviously playing alongside someone like Mike (van der Hoorn) made it a lot easier. He’s a rock at the back every single week. We’ve not really played together before but it felt comfortable."